These Are Not Kittens, And This Is Not Cute.

I don’t drive.  Please note that I said “don’t” and not “can’t.”  I have a driver’s license, but I have never been able to get past the crippling and overwhelming fear I have of riding in cars, let alone actually driving a car.  There has never been a time in my life when I have been comfortable behind the wheel.  I never noticed it as much when I was a child.  We rode around in a van that didn’t have seats, nevermind seatbelts, and we often were taken on hours-long road trips in the back of a pickup truck. 

It wasn’t until I turned 15 and my dad tried to teach me to drive that I realized that there was no way, nor would there ever BE a way that I could drive.  Of course, admitting that sort of defeat would have been embarrassing to everyone involved, so I just went along through high school with the “oh, I just haven’t gotten around to it” attitude.  When I was 18, I was cajoled into taking the test by my “best friend,” who – at that time – I believe had my best intentions at heart.  I failed the test three times before the exasperated instructor finally just relented and passed me.

That was in September of 1989.  I have not driven a car since.

My earliest memories as a child involved being on a swingset, and seeing a truck running towards me out-of-control.  My next memory is of watching the whole accident unfold before me.  I then remember an empty swing, still swinging back and forth.  I’m not even sure if I was swinging on the swings or driving the car, because I don’t believe these memories are from this lifetime.

In any event, I watched this video today that my sister posted on her wall.  Although it turned out to be a huge panic trigger for me, I think people need to see it for two reasons:  A) because these are the real-world consequences of dicking around while driving and, on a more personal level, B) so that people can feel what I feel every time I get into a car.

Proceed with caution.  This video is graphic.  Viewer discretion is advised.

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About Katie Mullaly

Katie Mullaly is the author (along with Patrick) of the very popular Scare-Izona: A Travel Guide to Arizona's Spookiest Spots and Tucson's Most Haunted. Their third book - Finding Ghosts in Phoenix - will hit the shelves this fall, and two more books are currently in production. As well as writing for the hugely popular "The Buzz Media" website, she can frequently be seen as a featured extra in most of Peter Leon's films. She is her own Easter egg. Basically, she's awesome. She would also like to meet Adam Lambert because he's cool on a cellular level. So, if anyone can hook that up for her, that'd be great.

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47 Responses to “These Are Not Kittens, And This Is Not Cute.”

  1. Jenny Stewart July 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Katie!! HUGS!!

    My Mom has never driven either…so I understand. Every single person who gets behind the wheel of a car or better yet ANYONE that gets into a car needs to watch this. My oldest daughter, Amber, would drive fast and reckless until one day I told her that when she is the driver the passengers and other drivers on the road lives are in her hands because she is the one in control of a very dangerous piece of equipment and that made her stop and think.

    There have been so many injured senselessly at the hands of drivers who are careless.

    I felt sheer panic watching that video. Honestly I made it to about 5 minutes and could not endure it any longer. I am sending you huge HUGS!!

  2. Katie Mullaly July 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Thank you! I appreciate it. I actually forced myself to watch the whole thing, and then I needed an Ativan.

    Gotta love panic attacks!

  3. Jenny Stewart July 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    I cannot even imagine how intense it had to be for you to watch it. I panicked so I am sure it was worse for you. I am posting this everywhere I can because people need to watch it.

  4. Katie Mullaly July 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Thanks! Let’s save lives through fear!!!

  5. J Patrick Ohlde July 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    I can’t bring myself to watch this in the first place. The fear is already in place without bolstering it.

  6. Riyad Kalla July 25, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Katie,

    Hell of a post… if you had told me “I don’t drive”, I would have figured “Ok, but it’s not that hard…” — I didn’t realize THAT (pointing at video) was what was rolling through your head any time you got in a car.

    Shit, I wouldn’t drive either.

    That being said, I have driven like an old woman since a close-call my 2nd year of high school when it was clear to me someone (god? buddha? higher power? I don’t know, but I love them for it) gave me a second chance.

    Since that event, cruise control, speed limits and look both ways like 9x before I do anything have become my M.O… some of those advertisements showing how some wreckless shithead NUKED… just absolutely laid *waste* to someone else’s life with a single stupid decision makes my heart want to fall out of my ass… that’s just too unforgivable.

    Anyway, wife and I were going to go drive out a hiking spot today and now I’m thinking we’ll watch the nature channel at home instead :)

  7. Ghostologys Brian July 25, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    A very powerful video.

    Not going to comment on my driving, because like most people, I think I am a good driver.

    I think the point of this, however, isn’t about who is a good driver and who isn’t. It’s about carelessness and bad decisions… and the fear of being behind the wheel of such a powerful weapon.

    Great blog Katie.

    - Brian

  8. Katie July 25, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Brian, I think you make a point when you say, “I think I am a good driver.” The point is that you “think.”

    Nobody is perfect, but some people don’t even think about it when they get behind the wheel because they are too busy talking on the phone, texting, futzing around looking for something they dropped, eating, putting on mascara, and – in a recent news story – shaving their BUSH to realize that they are now in control of two tons of machinery that is at once the epitome of convenience and danger.

    It just scares the everloving fuck out of me.

    Oh, and Riyad, it’s Sunday so if you go out early enough, you’ll beat all the crazies leaving church, drunk off their asses from the sacramental wine.

  9. Ghostologys Brian July 25, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Exactly Katie… we all ‘think’ that.

    I try to be cautious… for those of you who talk to me on the phone, I always use a headset, but still… it IS a distraction. I know it is. There is no 100% safe fix for this. Not even NOT texting, talking, listening to music, drinking coffee…etc… the car is just a dangerous thing.

    Less than three.

    - Brian

  10. Amanda McCallister July 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Katie,

    I came very close to loosing my 3 (now 4) year old daughter last year. She and her grandma were ran off the road, clipped the side of a concrete bridge, flipped over a creak, and their truck wrapped around a tree. She was life-flighted from the scene. It was touch and go for days, but after almost loosing her twice in the hospital, she pulled through. The driver of the other car…well, he ran. Still has never been found.

    I have a hard time dealing with the memories of seeing my baby go through what she went through. I leave the pictures of the car and my daughter in the hospital on my Facebook page as a reminder for people to slow down and drive safely. Thanks for the post! The video was very hard for me to watch but it is a reminder of what I almost lost and what I still have.

    Here is a link to the pictures in case anyone needs another reminder. It’s not just your life you are endangering when you drive like an idiot.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=863885646#!/album.php?aid=102322&id=579615652

  11. Katie July 25, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Amanda!

    I looked at all the pictures, and the best ones are of your daughter sticking out her tongue at the camera. Otherwise, they are shocking and heartbreaking.

    I believe there is a special place in hell for people who leave the scene of an accident.

    • Amanda McCallister July 26, 2010 at 4:58 am #

      Katie,

      I agree. It boggles my mind. How could someone leave the scene of an accident? Especially one of that nature. Maybe it’s best that they have not been found because I would probably be sitting in jail.

      For me, it doesn’t matter if it is just a fender bender or something more serious. I get out to check and make sure everyone is okay or if I can be of any help. Even if I am not involved in the accident. But, to be the cause of the accident and just take off??? I will never understand it.

  12. Clive July 28, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    It is a very powerful video, quite scary indeed.

    I’m in the same boat as yourself. I passed my test in 1981 & have only owned a car for about eight months in all that time. I never had the confidence in other road users when I set such a high standard for myself. I saw & still see such lazy drivers breaking the law left right & centre. People talking on mobiles, not indicating & most scarely, jumping red lights as people attempt to cross at a pedestrian crossing. I know I will see someone crushed before my eyes in the near future because of those same drivers general ignorance of pedestrian habits, it’s almost as if we are invisible.

    To explain the eight months with a motorcar. I was given an old car by my stepfather, it was very much on it’s last legs. I was so worried that I hadn’t sat behind a wheel for fourteen years since passing my test, that I asked a friend to drive it the sixty miles to my home. Not long afterwards I got someone to sit with me & I dug deep to remember those rules of the road from all those years ago. It was a little bit of a “you never forget how to ride a bike moment” as I drove around the city. That said, I was glad when it failed it’s MOT test & was only good for scrap. I have never felt the need to drive again & happily rely on bus & trains to get to my destination. This probably makes me out to be ‘totally paranoid’ in some peoples minds but I’m far happier for not being on the road along with all those loonies& just have to contend with those same loonies as a ‘slightly paranoid’ pedestrian.

    • Riyad Kalla July 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

      Clive,

      Do you live in a big city to get around not having a car? I know in some cities like Phoenix or Dallas, not having a car can be a pain — not a great public transit system to compensate.

      But in the bigger US cities, it’s do-able.

      I was in Cairo earlier this year and the driving is… well it’s like India. It’s pure insanity, I took a video of us “Crossing the street” the way the locals do it… it *looks* like suicide, but there is this odd synergy/logic to the whole mess… it’s really fluid.

      Here in the states I don’t feel like our driving is “fluid”, not a lot of drivers learn to be aware of the folks *around* them, they just consider “I’m not smashed into something right now, so I’ll keep going straight.” and then get distracted with other things.

      I don’t know why that is… now I haven’t experienced driving in New York, maybe it’s more fluid as a side-effect of people being FORCED to be aware of the folks around them.

      Maybe that is the key ingredient?

  13. Haha July 28, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    When you said you don’t drive, i started thinking, what person in the 21st century, in this day and age doesn’t drive? then i saw your name, Katie, and it hit me. You are a woman and females CANNOT drive… They lack the ability to properly drive and control a vehicle.

    Most of these vids were commercials and they were a tad bit unrealistic. The others were from news casts or from tv shows such as “Reckless Bandits” (name is made up, cant remeber a.t.m.) where the only person injured is the driver themselves, which serves them right.

    And contrary to popular belief, speed does NOT kill. it is the lack of driving skills and the inclusion of other factors such as BAC (blood alcohol content). Improper merging, signalling, braking etc that can lead to accidents. And always, there should be a 0 tolerance on drinking and driving. Not until governments adopt a 0.00% BAC (for all drivers) will there be a reduction in crashes/fatalities.

    P.s. a note to all: next time you’re driving, and the lane of the vehicle to your right (or left) is about to end, don’t be an asshole and drive faster… let them merge into your lane.

  14. Katie July 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    “When you said you don’t drive, i started thinking, what person in the 21st century, in this day and age doesn’t drive? then i saw your name, Katie, and it hit me. You are a woman and females CANNOT drive… They lack the ability to properly drive and control a vehicle.”

    How right you are! Women have no business behind the wheel of a car when they have a perfectly good MAN to drive them where they need to go. It’s a terrible bother having to look all over the place, when I really just want to be looking at MYSELF in the mirror.

    I don’t believe that’s unreasonable. Men serve women.

    • Haha July 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

      ehh…
      You’re right about men driving women around… that’s how its supposed to be.

      But, men serving women… that’s wrong. Don’t get me wrong, i’m a big fan of chivalry, but slaving to women is a big N.O. Women have some right upon men and men have some right upon women, it’s complimentary.

      Men drive women around and in return you make us sandwiches :P

      Btw, if you have a moment, please ‘youtube’ this video: Ne-yo feat. Jamie Foxx – Independent

  15. Katie July 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    I’d be happy to make you a sandwich, Haha. White, wheat, or rye?

    I will have a look at that video at my earliest convenience. It better not turn out to be a snuff film or porn.

    I have your IP address ;)

    • Haha July 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

      Lol. if it was that kind of film it wouldn’t be on youtube to begin with.
      it’s just a cool song about women’s independence and the like.

      wow, i thought my first comment would definitely create an uproar or stir up some controversy… i guess you geezers are cool after all :p

      btw, i prefer plain… not very health conscious : P

      • Katie July 29, 2010 at 12:09 am #

        Geezers? *breaks into tears and runs away*

        Oh wait, I forgot…*sob sob*…I promised…*sob sob*…to make you a SAND*sob*WICH!!!

        WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

        *points to self*

        Cool doesn’t even begin to describe THIS sassy gal.

        Did you want mayo or mustard?

        • Haha July 29, 2010 at 9:29 am #

          welll i called you a geezer and cool, so i guess the postive and negative balances it out.

          i would further like to say you are very keen, dandy, and swell… terms i believe people from your generation may very well understand (and please don’t take it the wrong way again). :P

          if the sandwhich is too much of a hassle, i’ll take a meatball marinara from subway instead. :p

  16. zzzz July 29, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    LOL, so many fake ones like TAC ads. Yeah I know they can happen, but the thing itself isnt real.

    • Riyad Kalla July 29, 2010 at 4:55 am #

      Something like this doesn’t need to be real, it just has to be possible — then they show us how horrific “possible” is, and it gives you a bit more respect for your car… and hopefully not texting while driving.

  17. Katie July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I suppose if “cool geezer” is the worst thing I am ever called, I’ll survive.

    I guess that makes you a young whippersnapper.

    Of the three adjectives you’ve listed, I can only recall having used “keen.” For example, “keen sense of comic timing.”

    Not necessarily as a synonym for “neat.”

    If we’re going to Subway, YOU’RE driving, because my ass ain’t walking there in this heat.

  18. Swindon Guy July 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m an ex-Policeman, so trained to a decent enough standard as a driver, have been driving for 21yrs without one blameworthy accident, and drive around 40k miles a year, betwene the UK and the continent, and like the other chap ‘think’ i’m an ok driver.
    But all it takes is (to coin a Pink Floyd phrase), ‘a momentary lapse of reason’, and blam. All that training and experience is worth nothing.
    We all get arrogant and at times invincible behind the wheel, We all get times when we get a little angry at the dawdler in front of us. In essence, none of us is really any better than the other. Just some people are a little more able to reduce those lapses!
    Above all, I’m a father to a gorgeous 3yo boy, and that’s what keeps me driving to the best of my ability, as much as I can. True, it doesn’t have to be your own bad driving that wipes you out, but by doing the best, and the safest you can, you at least halve the chances of being a statistic.
    I watch films like this and when I see a child DOA, or fighting for life, I can’t help but cry. Like the earlier poster said, sometimes (and I paraphrase), education through fear is better than no education at all.

  19. Katie July 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Well stated, Swindon Guy!

  20. defector August 2, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    those videos some are from movies some are real
    both are socking
    that video should be forced to played in TV in countries that have lot of accidents

  21. eh August 7, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    would you two just bone and stop being so retarded

  22. Dick August 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Most of those are commercials. Europe has very good warning commercials, very realistic. Some are from movies. Others are from police chases. Very few genuine crashes. Just commercial to get us to slow down and pay attention.

    At 1:35 a car runs a red light and hits another car. The second car rolls over a padestrian. The people in the cars were fine. The pedestrian was killed. Afraid to walk?

  23. Katie August 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Yep.

  24. otto September 1, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    the horrible music some how made this hilarious… and the re-enactments didn’t help

  25. Janessa September 2, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Yes, bad things CAN happen if you act like an idiot when driving. However, I have driven for over 40 years, and have NEVER had a bad accident. The worst accident I have ever been in was a small fender bender in stop and go traffic. On the other hand, in the same time period, my brother managed to total several cars and killed a pedestrian. Obey the laws, and DO NOT EVER TAILGATE. Everyone tailgates and thinks it’s OK, but that is more responsible for more accidents than anything else, I think. Plus always be aware of everything going on around you and always leave at least two ways out of whatever situation you’re in — front, back, right side, left side. I have been in the middle of massive freeway pileups and have never been touched, because I followed these rules. On the plus side, there is absolutely no freedom quite like having your own car — to be able to hop in and explore any road that catches your interest, to wonder what the world looks like on the other side of that mountain pass, and go find out. I would encourage you not to let fear keep you from living a full life–try driving just a little bit at at time, learn to be an intelligent and safe driver, and you’ll do fine. Remember, you can sit at home and feel perfectly safe, and then some airliner lands on top of your house. Good luck!

  26. jason September 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    3.25………….where the child gets swung out of the rolling car and gets run over the the oncoming car, that was so sad, makes you really think………..anyone one know the song by the way?

  27. JAWAHARLAL NANDA September 9, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    SUPERB !! REALLY, V HV TO TAKE CARE WHILE DRIVING THE VEHICLE!!

  28. TEJA September 9, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    No words…………………..

  29. Lord Koos September 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    You didn’t need to include the Hollywood stuff, the real clips were horrible. It’s not enough to be a good driver, you have to be careful of the others. Several of the worst accidents on your video were caused by truck drivers asleep at the wheel.

  30. Katie September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    To be clear, I didn’t make this video and I take no credit for any of its content. Clearly, some of it is staged for PSA use, but some of it is very, very real, including – as you mentioned, Lord Koos – truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

    If this just makes people drive a bit more carefully, then that is progress.

  31. Katie September 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    PS – I know the song is by Evanescence (sp?), but the name of the song escapes me at the moment.

  32. LukeJohnq October 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Like some here, I’ve been driving for a long time (over 40 years). Never had an accident. I used to race cars and was damn good at it so I know what I’m doing.

    But.

    I’ve seen accidents happen, been there to help rescue, seen the blood, the severed, crushed limbs. It is NOT something I’d wish on anyone.

    What scares the bejeebers out of me are the others on the road – Seeing things like trucks crossing the median, going head-on into someone just minding their business on the other side.

    When I was learning to drive, my dad told me to drive as if every other driver on the road is a complete, incompetent idiot, liable to do the stupidest thing at any moment, to be aware of everything around me. To watch not only the vehicle in front of me but the one in front of him too, to be AWARE of everything happening around me (including behind me).

    Maybe that’s a small part of why I’ve never had an accident – the rest is probably pure luck (and maybe divine intervention too)

    You can’t stop every tragedy from happening but you can and should do what you can to improve your odds.

  33. Judd Bonus October 21, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    I had to watch this video twice and “stupidity” comes to mind. Well, thats ONE way of taking yourself out of the gene pool, and all I can say is GOOD! Just what the hell are these morons thinking. yeah I know alot of them are fake “actors & stunt persons” with a few real ones stuck in so one cant tell. Never looking both ways crossing the street…….. “BAM!”, going well over 100 on a english country road with way too many blind spots. “BAM!” They who actually survive these things, instead of putting their asses in prisons, make them force to be in the clean up crew picking up all the little body parts with their hands to always remind them that somebody had to to this for their bloody mess that they created. Then pasture their picture on a billboard with the accident scene (blotting out the dead bodies) as a constant reminder that this person killed your neighbor, friends and or loved ones for whatever stupidity they thought they were doing at that time.

  34. Aamir October 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Speechless….I pray for all the victims and also for all of us… May the Almighty grant us the wisdom to understand the aftermath of our carelessness…. I have been driving for over 25 years all over the world (Far East, Pakistan, Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, USA….). No major accident (Alhamdolillah). But to tell you honestly, I am still short of breath after watching this video. Its hard for me to keep my eyes dry…. I want to say so much, yet I am lost with words. PLEASE KEEP YOURSELF & OTHERS SAFE.

  35. Lotus October 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Well it’s not that graphic. I thought it will be something as big as Nikki Catsouras’ case (don’t google her, just read on wiki), but I’ve already seen this video. I also don’t drive. They don’t even teach people the physics of driving or that pro safe driving and then everyone is wondering why are roads dangerous. You have to explain people what inertia is and what to do when you lose control, because many are absolutely ignorant and have no idea what to in that split second. People skilled in physics and from racing simulations like me, know what to do. It’s a shame so many douchebags prevent you from driving. I’m a car enthusiast and rich too (I’m an investor), so I could drive something nice like Spyker or Buick from ’50s. But oh well, at least not having a car saves me even more money cause trains and planes aren’t that expensive and a bicycle keeps me in shape, although I do wish I could go on a road trip across Asia. China built many highways and that’s just a new frontier to explore.

    Maybe if the cabin in cars would be more sturdy, then it would be safer to drive – if the impact itself doesn’t kill you. A crumple zone slows down but it’s not much. When you see some pictures, it makes you wonder why don’t they make rollover protection a requirement of every car. A lot of lives could be saved but they’re too ignorant. Seat belts weren’t invented until an engineer’s wife at Volvo got into an accident, but I don’t even find seat belts that safe. I prefer a racing harness. And first cars before Model T even had no brakes, so it makes you wonder how careless people are. In a documentary the narrator said that you just hit the clutch 20 meters before stopping or your driveway was uphill just a bit and that stopped it. Lol.

  36. Christiane November 15, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    im 17 and only recently passed my test.
    i refuse to exceed the speed limits even if friends ask me to pick the speed up.
    The road is dangerous enough as it is.. you could be in a serious accent even if you arent a reckless driver.. others are. when people are in my car.. im responsible.. i dont want family or friends to die because of stupid things i would do in a car.

    this video made me cry.. i dont want to kill anyone and i shouldnt be killed on the road. everyone needs to realize the reality and as much as everyone slates speed cameras.. here should be a lot more of them

  37. david November 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    The only problem with this is the people who drive like idiots always will. They cannot be educated normally they have to learn by experience.

  38. Beth December 12, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    That certainly has an impact. I feel a bit nauseous :S

  39. froi January 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    cover us with the holy spirit to be safe, plus, self discipline.

  40. driver April 18, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Are cars dangerous? of course. more so then any other type of transportation. Planes only make the news because of the numbers of deaths involved in singe incidents, but many more people die each year thanks to auto’s. And yes, there are way to many people who forget just how dangerous. the raw number of people i see on the phone, eating, or doing any number of things, including sex while driving, make me wish for harsher traffic law enforcement. But still i brave the dangerous every day, because life is about overcoming obstacles, not being defined by them.

    Do you travel at all? going outside at all is dangerous. So are germs, and snakes, and sharks, and a plethora of other things. Auto’s happens to be the one that speaks to you, but it is still just your phobia. call them “panic attacks” if you wish, spout about good reasons for your being afraid; it’s all well and good. But people should not let their lives be ruled by fear, it’s the very definition of being a coward.

    that you write pseudo-horror is just to funny, therapy perhaps.

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